Thursday, December 30


Thank God that Holidays are over. OK, there is still one more day, but it  really doesn't count because most people don't leave the couch all day. Frankly, that is my ideal way to start a new year. Lazy. Even though I enjoyed the actual Christmas part of the holiday, I'm totally over it now. I'm ready to put up the decorations, get the new basketball goal out of my living room (thanks, Dad) and most of all, get rid of the goddamn tree.

When we went to pick out the tree, we had Tanner with us and it was like, 12 degrees, so we didn't take a lot of time to peruse their fine selection. I really wanted a Balsam Fir, but we wound up getting some other kind that resembles the Balsam, but cheaper. I did it against my better judgment because we bought the same kind last year by mistake, and pretty soon discovered why it was cheap. It's a pokey tree. Meaning that every time I touched the thing I got stabbed by its needles and then enjoyed 10 minutes of residual stinging. It was like a tree made entirely out of stinging nettles. Fun, fun, fun.

I began to think that over the course of a year, my mind must have erased the pain that the tree had previously inflicted. Like a tattoo or childbirth, your mind just blocks it out so that hopefully you'll be dumb enough to do it again (hello two kids and three tattoos). Sure enough, as soon as we got the thing home and tried to put it in the tree stand, I was already feeling hundreds of pine needles penetrating my skin. While I was under the tree getting poor man's acupunture, Mark was using his work gloves, which I didn't even know he had, to position the tree. Looking at it in the stand, I began to cringe as I thought about how painful it was going to be to hang ornaments.

The next day I borrowed Mark's gloves to string the lights on and damned if those needled didn't poke through leather work gloves, which I didn't even know he had. By the time Piper was ready to hang ornaments, I was bracing for an hour of impromptu crying about "tree owwies." Oddly enough I was the only one that was crying about it. Eventually I just started shoving ornaments into the tree to prevent myself the pain of having to actuall hang them from a branch.

Against the primal instict to avoid pain, I again crawled under the tree to water it, because no matter my age, that's somehow my job. The good news was that because the tree had a natural defense system, no one really bothered it. Tanner rolled too close and got a sharp prick in the face and decided to roll to somewhere safer, like the fireplace. Piper knelt down near it and took a needle to the kneecap, only relieving the pain with a Hello Kitty Band-Aid. They are apparently made of magic and are something that the medical community should really look into. Even I avoided my OCD Christmas tradition of re-positioning ornaments because I knew that I was asking for trouble.

Suddenly the tree went from bad to worse, which I didn't think was possible. Mysteriously all the water was gone and the thing was drying out - fast. I put more water in it, and the next day it was dry again. This went on for a few more days until one night I looked over and saw a weird stain on the tree skirt. I investigated further only to discover that the spot was a gigantic drool slick left by the dog. The friggin' dog had been drinking tree water. At least it explained the recent increase in his trips outside and the dog poop all over the patio. I really thought that the tree stand doubling as a water bowl ended when Mitchell died last year, but I'm now getting the impression that it was a team effort.

When I examined the wet tree skirt with the gigantic snail trail of  drool, I realized that there was absolutley no water in the tree stand and there hadn't been in days. I quickly filled it up but noticed that the tree was no longer taking nourishment. It was if he'd given up, which became apparent as it dried out more and more. At this point I am actually very hesitant to turn on the lights for fear I am lighting a powder keg. I really don't want to be one of those women standing in the driveway being intervied by the local news station in my pajamas.

Side note: this is where I mention that in the event of a fire, flood or tornado there is one item that I will not leave my house without. My bra. I may have crazy bed head and no shoes, but you can bet your bottom dollar in the event of a natural disaster I will have the support I need. My friend had a fire in her apartment a few years ago, and ignored my advice. Although she forgot the bra, she did rescue the cats, so I guess it's alright. It's just a good thing that there were no news crews around.

Over the course of this last week the branches have become brittle and the needles are more dangerous than ever. It's hard to imagine, but our tree has become a lethal weapon, Gibson style. Minus the anti-semetic slurs and domestic abuse. The good news is that we get to take this thing down day after tomorrow and Mark and I are already trying to come up with a game plan on how to get it out of the house without sending everyone to the hospital. I think that it's going to involve us wearing every piece of winter outwear that we have to wrangle this thing out onto the curb. I feel bad for the garbage guys and think that I should really leave them a warning note or something. "Caution! Tree may cause sharp pain, eye bleeding and increase your desire to gamble."

So, even though we gave up on trying to keep the tree alive, apparently it still has water in the stand, which I found out today when I went home for lunch and caught the dog drinking out of it. Again.

Friday, December 24


This time of year always makes me think of Christmas past. Christmas was always both a stressful time and a highly profitable time of year for me. I had to maneuver three different Christmases with two different families, which was a lot to take for a little kid who really only wanted to stay at home on Christmas Day. However the upside was that I got a freakin' ton of presents. Or, as my Mom would say, "full scale model of the Earth."

When I was young it was usually a Barbie Christmas. I had the Barbie Dream House, which my Dad hated because he had to put it together, the Barbie Townhouse, Jeep, Mercedes, Horse, Dog and a variable cornucopia of Skippers, Kens and accessories. In fact I had so many Barbies that  one year I got a Barbie store, which sold hats and shoes, because my Mom said "bitch gotta get a job to pay for all of this stuff." I like to think of it as she was trying to teach me a lesson about the value of a dollar.

Yep, Santa was very, very good to me. When I started to question his existence, I was told that as long as I believed, Santa would come. From that point on I made it my mission to make "Santa," or as we called him, "Ms. Clause," happy. All this meant was that I kissed up to my Mom for the month or so before Christmas and left a glass of Zinfandel instead of milk and cookies. It usually worked.

My Dad on the other hand wasn't so diplomatic. When I was about seven I was visiting him for Easter and kept talking about the Easter Bunny. I knew that he wasn't real, but I really wanted to make sure that I planted the Easter Basket seed. I figured since my Grandmother was with me, it wouldn't be an issue. Well, I was dead wrong. The night before Easter, my Dad took me outside and told me "look, Santa and the Easter Bunny don't exist, deal with it." Oh my God my Mother was pissed. Sometimes on a cold night, if you listen really close you can still hear the echo.

There were other Christmases that left a permanent scars. Like the time that instead of gifts Santa (my Dad) left me switches, which is the Southern equivalent of a lump of coal, except they are meant to beat you with. Don't worry my Mom and Grandmother were super-pissed at my Dad and later that day my Grandmother burned them. Later I learned that my Dad's reasoning was that I had been a "little shit" the entire year, but I am sure that the fact that my parents were going through a divorce had nothing at all to do with that.

Now that I look at it in print I think that I should have a business card made up with the stories above and hand them out to every one that asks me why I hate Christmas. Or, should I say hated. Now that Piper is old enough to get excited, I find that I am looking forward to Christmas for the first time in many years. I participated in the decorating of the house, even using my Mom's very traditional decorations that she sent me. I normally go for kitsch, but Piper tries to play with it all and it's very hard to explain that "it's vintage" to a three year old.

So on this Christmas Eve, I find myself looking forward to tomorrow and watching Piper get everything she asked for, or as I like to call it a "full scale model of the Earth." But in keeping with a family tradition, I will ask her to leave Santa and his helper a couple of beers to wash down those cookies.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17


During Piper's four days of unfortunate intestinal distress, there were many fake-outs that led us to believe that the worst was over. During one such reprieve, I unwisely decided to take her a "Breakfast with Santa" that I'd already paid for. I think had I not already laid out the cash, cooler heads might have prevailed and we would have skipped it. But hey, eleven dollars is eleven dollars.

I should have known better. I did know better. Especially since right before we left, she had a "throw up in her pull-up." Her words not mine. Mark and I thought that the phrase was pretty great and throughout the next couple of days turned it into a techno song of sorts. I still think that in the right demographic it could be a hit.

Anyway, we got her all cleaned up, waited a bit, and then decided to give the Santa breakfast a try, especially since I'd already mentioned the magic word: Santa. We braved the 20 degree weather and reached the Community building just in time for pancakes and Tang. When I asked her how she liked the Tang (because let's be honest, that shit is gross), she said "it's good." I then told her "well the astronauts drink it," thinking myself all kinds of clever and cool. The couple across looked at me like I was an astronaut - from planet crazy. Hey, I can't help it if I'm old and I remember that damned ad campaign.

Piper had exactly two bites of pancakes when she looked at me and said, "I need to go to the potty." I could tell by her face that it was serious. I immediately took her hand and sprinted to the bathroom and we made it time. Almost. All I'm going to say is that I left that bathroom with a pair of panties in my pocket and she went back to the Santa breakfast commando.

I tried to get her to go see Santa, since you know, he was the reason that we were there, but she didn't want to. Instead she wanted to do crafts. I was like "kid, I didn't pay eleven bucks for pancakes and Tang." But we did some crafts and after a while I suggested that we give Santa another try. She approached him with a lot of trepidation and then tried to hide behind me. I kept trying to lure her over to Santa so I could get a picture, even telling her at one point "look, he has a candy cane, don't you want to get a candy cane?" That's when I realized that I was actually encouraging my daughter to take candy from strangers, so I backed off that one.

Then Piper did what Piper does best, which was to throw a fit right there in front of Santa and everyone. Not realizing that the floor she was about to fling herself on was concrete, she really nailed her nose during the episode. I looked at the dude playing Santa and he kind of shrugged and I drug Piper on the highly-buffed floor back to the crafts table.

We were just sitting down to more coloring when two of her friends from school came up to say hi. I asked them if they'd seen Santa and they, of course, had. I then asked if they wouldn't mind taking Piper up there and holding her hand so she wouldn't be scared. They obliged and I have to say that it was super cute. They all walked up there and Piper's fear completely vanished as she ran up to Santa and gave him a great big bear hug, just as her pants fell down, exposing her butt to the entire crowd waiting in line.

She got a candy cane.

Friday, December 10


I'm not very good with other people's bodily fluids. I was not the girl in high school that held your hair back when you threw up, that was Kellie Stewart who should be Sainted for taking care of everyone when we got hammered off of grain alcohol. I really thought that once I became a mother all that stuff wouldn't bother me anymore. I was wrong. Sure diapers are one thing, usually whatever is lurking them is self-contained. If not, you know about it pretty quickly and TCB in a flash. Barfing is something else entirely and I leave that cleanup to Mark and a Hazmat suit.

Thus far we've been lucky and haven't really had anyone that suffered from the big D. I was kind of hoping it would stay that way until they were 10 or so when they could handle the clean up all by themselves. That dream came crashing down yesterday when I got a call from Piper's school reporting "significant diarrhea." Trust me, those are two words you never want to hear in conjunction with one another.

When children are sick, that motherly instinct really kicks in... until you're up every three seconds changing a pull up. Until you find yourself at the grocery store at 8:30 pm buying more pull us and anti-bacterial cleaning supplies just for good measure. Then the maternal instincts begin to lean to the Joan Crawford end of the scale. There's just something about holding a kid down over a toilet while being kicked that takes away those warm and squishy feelings (bad choice of words - sorry) toward them.

I am sure that my neighbors figured that out when I picked her up, potato sack style and put her in the car wearing a shirt and pull ups all the while screaming "I am so tired of your shit" (again bad choice). But before you judge me, I assure you that she was matching me toe-to-toe in the screaming department. And yes, I do expect a visit from family services.

The good news? Now I have it. I can't say as I am surprised as I've been handling poo for the past 24 hours. But as my old roommate use to say, "at least you're losing weight."

Friday, October 22


I've always had a running list of people I'd like to have dinner with. I figured that it was important to have this list on hand in case I suddenly got famous and needed to order people to my house to fawn all over me. Clearly the list fluctuates, and it's certainly not at all what it originally was. I will say that Crispin Glover has always been on it, but that also means that David Letterman can never be. You might think that a couple of these are dumb, but whatever. Let's see your list.

1)  John Waters. I would quiz him about many things like the original Hairspray, which is one of my favorite movies. His appearance on the Simpsons. Why does he still live in Baltimore? And of course, what up with that weird little mustache (of course I wouldn't phrase it quite that way).

2) Crispin Glover: I want to know how the scrawny guy who played the tweaker in River's Edge attracts all those porn stars. I also want to know what in the world prompted him to a) cover a Charles Manson song and b) to put his real phone number a CD. True story. Mark actually called it and Crispin Glover actually answered. So weird. I would not, however refer to him as "my density."

3) Laurie Notaro: She's my favorite writer right now, but I think that she's lost her edge a bit ever since she stopped being broke due to her success. Anyone calls her book the "Idiot Girls Action Adventure Club" and has fans that refer to themselves as Idiot Girls is alright by me! She also wrote about her pants exploding in San Francisco. I have nothing else to say.

4) Jon Stewart: That's a gimme. He's a genius.

5) Madonna: I used to really think that she was awesome before her weird Kabbalah/British thingy. Everything that she's done after Music as sucked balls. However I would summon her to dinner party just because I could. I do have some concerns that she'd make it all about her, but that's kinda a given. I also would like to get an up-close look at that awful plastic surgery of hers and her gross arms. I'd then tell her she looks terrible and then I'd force a hamburger down her throat (it's a fantasy so I can do that sort of thing).

6) Tina Fey: She's one of smartest/funniest people alive. Plus, I pretty much go living every day feeling like a married Liz Lemon. It's a sad, sad thing that I have also tried to staple my bra back together, have an obsession with crappy food that may or may not cause intestinal distress and have very disturbing flashbacks (none that include Tom Jones, mind you).

7) President Obama: Really, when are you going to have another chance to have a beer with a President? Well, I guess you could always try to break into your own house. I'd try to get him all hammered and ask him what the fuck's going on in that oval office? I would point out that Democrats seriously need to grow a pair and then openly question which Republican had a picture of him full Nazi regalia? Because short of that, I don't know why he gives such a good goddamn what they think. Then, I'd make him give me some kind of grant for laying around watching TV. Besides, I'd love to see Jon Stewart get ahold of him.

8) Courtney Love: You know that she'd bring the crazy and it would probably be as awesome as watching Lindsay Lohan without actually having to be around Lindsay Lohan. I would also be sure that there was a lot of alcohol and heroin on hand.

9) Coen Brothers: They only count as one person. Because I say so. They made my favorite movie ever, and I think that warrants a dinner invite. Besides, I want to know the ending of Raising Arizona.

10) Courtney Taylor-Taylor: If you know me at all, this is self explanatory. I think that he and Crispin Glover would get along famously.

Saturday, October 9


There aren't many things in this world that I love, aside from my family (dog included until he pees on something). I'm one of those people that tends to have a better grasp of what I don't like, because I'm so super upbeat and positive. So when I find something that I actually do like, it must be pretty important. Things like Chick-O-Sticks, the color black and profanity. I really, really love to swear. Like, a lot.

Maybe this is why my Mom tells me that when I talk I sound like "a sailor on leave." She's got a point. I curse so fucking often that I hardly realize that I'm fucking doing it. I've tried ways to avoid it, like substituting letters for words, ie "what the f," and my own acronyms, like "fofer"(fuck of fucker). But try as I might, I still wind up using 'fucking' as a adjective.

Growing up there was never a whole lot of cursing in my house. Sure, there would be a "shit" here and there, but nothing major. My Mom took a philosophical approach to profanity. She simply told me that when I knew what it meant, I could say it (this after a cringe inducing conversation about correct use of the word dildo). What she didn't know was that one day at school my teacher went off on a tangent, apparently appalled by the language overheard in the hallways, "one word in particular."

We all knew what word it was, but that didn't stop us from trying to get her to say it. After awhile, she kind of blushed and said "well I'm not going to say it, but it means for unlawful carnal knowledge." I thought "woo hoo! This is what I had been waiting for!" For the first time ever, I'd actually learned something useful in school. That night when I regaled my Mom with my awesome new found knowledge, she rolled her eyes and said "just don't say it around your Grandparent's." Oh, you know I did.

And, contrary to my Grandmother's prediction, I did find someone to marry me even though I had a potty mouth and didn't know how to keep a respectable house. To tell the truth, Mark is much, much worse that I am. Once we had Piper, we kept meaning to clean up our language around the house, it was something that kept meaning to do, like cleaning out the garage, but just never got around to it. At first it was because she was too little to understand what we were saying, then we just kind of figured that she wasn't really listening. Oh, she was listening.

Her first F Bomb came one night when we had rented the John Travolta animated extravaganza Bolt. She was supposed to be able to watch it after her bath, but that had gone horribly awry and I'm pretty sure that it ended with us both in tears. As I dried her off and wrangled her into her pajamas, the verbal assault never stopped until I handed her off to Mark and said "just take her in the living room and watch fucking Bolt." Without a beat, through tears, Piper sniffed "I don't want to watch fucking Bolt..." Yeah, I felt kinda bad about that one.

Then there was the day we were loading her into the car when she started screaming "Goddammit!" I'm still not really sure what brought on this bout of tourette's, because it kinda came out of nowhere. We decided that our best course of action was to ignore it, but that totally didn't work. So we drove all the way to Grandma's house with a two year old screaming "Goddammit" intermittently in the back seat. I was just glad that it was winter and we had to ride with the windows rolled up. After all, you don't want to share your fine parenting skills with everyone.

I think that we all remember the "you fuck you" recent portion of our program, and I'm glad to say that we've moved a step beyond all of that. Piper is in pre, pre-school, where they learn stuff, they have circle time and they sing songs. We often enjoy our mornings with renditions of "Old McDonald," "Itsy Bitsy Spider," and my personal favorite "Shake Your Booty..." I'm still not 100% sure that it's actually the KC & The Sunshine Band version. She basically sticks her butt out and sings "shake your booooooty..." while, in fact shaking said booty (what makes it more adorable/disturbing is that she mainly does it when naked). When I asked her where she learned that song, she told me her teacher, but I feel pretty confident that that's a lie.

So along with traditional children's rhymes and 70s era disco hits, I think she's got a decent song repertoire. One of her new favorites is the time honored classic "Muffin Man." Which if you are like me, you remember best from the scene in Jaws, where Sean is making a sandcastle singing "do you know the muffin man" just as the shark sends his brother to the hospital in shock to await his coffee ice cream (gross, what kid liked coffee ice cream?) and his cars.

For a couple days we heard "do you know the muffin man..." all over the house. Then she started to improvise with Tanner's name, "do you know the Tan man..." so sweet it made my teeth hurt. Then, two nights ago she was again ad libbing with the Muffin Man and I caught something in her version that I'm pretty sure she didn't learn in circle time. When Mark and I asked her to clarify what she'd just said, her response was, "nuffin." Finally, when the heat died down a little, she began to sing: "do you know the fucter man, the fucter man..." I was so caught off guard that my first response was to laugh. But then I remembered that I was supposed to be the parent and I got very stern and said, "where did you hear that?" Piper turned away from me and said "well, I didn't hear it on TV."

How I wish we could blame it on TV. The reality is that we've dropped the ball apparently along with the F-bomb, S-bomb and many others. The last thing that I want is to be the parent of that kid. You know, the one that teaches all the other kids about dirty words and the facts of life. I think that all this means is that I have to start being a better parent to that kid.

We're trying hard to change our language although it is a really, really hard thing to do when you've been fucking talking like this for fucking twenty years and it's totally fucking subconscious by now. I think that we are on the right track and who knows, maybe we'll become better parents in this particular arena. We have to. Because tonight as I was emptying the dishwasher, Piper was counting the cups for me, "fucter 1, fucter 2..."

Wednesday, October 6


Remember last year when I moved into the house that wound up being Amityville? Remember the toothless heroin addict with a penchant for adult toys and movies called "Anal Intruders IV?" Well, I do. As much time as I put into that hell hole I remember. And as the patron saint of Whatever & Ever Amen would say, I remember "the mud and the blood and the beer."

After surviving in the house for a year without a zombie attack, I began to understand my personal Michael Keaton a little bit. Dare I say, after paying almost $2,000 a year in propane, I began to agree with his camping out indoors lifestyle. Except for his preoccupation of all things anal.

When we moved in, we tried to track him down so he could pay the overdue rent and the cleaning of ground zero (I can't remember if we charged for the Hazmat suits or not), oh and picking his fucking teeth up off the ground. But no dice... he'd simply vanished, which is hard to do in a town this small.

After over a year, we finally found him and served him with papers. We spotted him the other day working with a back hoe, which you know, you always want a drug addict to be in charge of. There's nothing like nodding off when you're driving heavy equipment that could crush a car. With no regard to the public at large we thought, yea! wage garnishment! I think by this point it's just a grudge match because after the lawyer's fees we probably aren't going to see one dime, but damn it felt good. I heard that when he got served (and I mean that in the "oh snap, you got served-est way possible), his exact words were "oh shit." That's right mo-fo, you mess with the bull, you get the horns.

But you're still asking yourself, "wants the horribly ironic part," Well we found him working on new construction in a new neighborhood. Mine. Ergo, he probably worked on my house. Which is to say that somewhere luring between our walls may be "Anal Intruders V."

Thursday, September 30


"There's a big world out there. Bigger than prom, bigger than high school, and it won't matter if you were the prom queen or the quarterback of the football team or the biggest nerd. Find out who you are and try not to be afraid of it.”

Sometimes I have this nightmare, you know, the one where it's finals and there is a class that you've forgotten to go to and now you're totally screwed? For most people, the scary part of that dream is the failing grade. For me, it's being back in high school.

Now, before I go and blame my idiosyncrasies on high school, it's important to know I have never been a fan of the institution as a whole.  It didn't help that I was a fat kid in elementary school, tortured every day at lunch (I'm looking at you Gary-now-I'm-a-cross-dresser). Then, I was a chubby kid in middle school and was again tortured during lunch (I'm looking at you Clarke). I do have to give him some credit because he later apologized for treating me like Martha Dumptruck. Which is surprising for a guy that had once tried to shove me in a locker. Lucky for him I was too fat to fit. But he had done a great job of starting a case severe body dysmorphia- it's the gift that keeps on giving. Like Chlamydia, only you don't have fun getting it.

Body issues aside, by the time I actually got to high school I was painfully aware of my social status. Not all the way at the bottom, but nowhere near the top.* I figured this out the day I saw the girl in front of me filling out a "slam book." For those of you who aren't 500 years old, slam books were the 80s version of being mean on Facebook. As I looked over her shoulder I saw the question: "Do you like Ashlee?" It wasn't the fact that there were "no's" on the page that hurt my feelings, it was the fact I was a question at all. Questions like that were meant for kids who were booger eaters or wore headgear.

<><><><><><> <><><><><><> <><><><><><>
"I got paid in puke."
I know by now, you probably think this very sad. I also know that you're also thinking "that poor girl had to wear headgear.” Let’s be clear, it was only at night, and sometimes during the day, and it wasn’t full headgear, yes it made me lisp, but not for long, because I “lost it.”  But before you start feeling bad for me, there is one thing to know. It was during this time that I was lucky enough to have a fantastic group of girls that I proudly still call friends. I doubt I would have made it through that long, dark rite of passage without them. They are all amazing women and put up with my crazy ass long before the medication, and still love me for the high-strung wack job that I am (an no, not the Heathers). 

So when I got a retina-searing email announcing my high school reunion, I was more than a little hesitant about going. It might have been the temporary blindness brought on by the purple text with the screaming yellow background, or the Humpty Dance that automatically played when you opened the website link (clearly whoever designed this thing has never done market research to learn that most people hate that shit, or they don’t have to worry about getting busted for opening personal email at work). I also got super irritated at the time I lost from my life trying to figure out the collage (yeah, that's what I said, collage) on the website. I mean, why in the world were there pictures of the 90210 cast when the show wasn't on until the October of 1990, after we'd graduated (for the record I graduated when I was 10)? Why was Nirvana on there? Nevermind came out in ’91, but more importantly what was the deal with the American Pie picture? Then there was the random picture of a Jeep. I dunno. I was so confused that for a minute I began to think that maybe I'd actually forgotten the year I graduated. Hey, it could happen. Sometimes I forget how old I am, which can be a good thing. 

Even though I could come up with a dozen or so other ways to a) spend a Saturday night (pins in my eyes and b) spend $70 (cookie dough), I succumbed to peer pressure and went. And before you can say "Proactiv" there I was standing in line to get my nametag. They had staff from the venue handing out the name tags, and I was truly disappointed that I didn't have the chance to say "fuck, off Toby" to anyone (see Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion).

Plus, what made this experience really awesome was that I had a baby five months ago and am still sporting multiple chin's and an inner tube that doubles as my waste.  Which might explain why I wasn't totally psyched to go. To make things worse, because of a lunch that I’d hosted earlier that day, and Tanner's feeding schedule, I had found myself with exactly 15 minutes to get ready. Also, I'd never found time to go get something to wear (that last part is my fault).  I mean, what girl hasn't imagined their high school reunion like that? Fat and in jeans (for the record, I told my friend Ashley that the only way I would go to this thing was if she made me a T-shirt that said "I just had a baby - cut me some slack." Sadly, the shirt never materialized). I mean, the whole point of those things is to show up everyone else and non-verbally express "I turned out better than you." Which sad to say, was a big FAIL.

It was like the moment I put that sticky name tag on (which my boss would call passé), I felt it searing into my chest, branding me with my high-school identity. Within seconds I was magically transported back to the last place I ever wanted to be. Once was actually inside, I can’t say it got much better. Usually I can mingle just fine with people I don't know, I mean I can at least fake it. It probably didn’t help that I couldn’t really drink (thanks a lot Tanner). Because a nice martini usually gets those conversation juices flowin’. In hindsight no alcohol was probably a good thing, since it winds up usually going something like this: “hey you, yeah, you. Wanna hear what I really think about you?” Instead I stood there slack jawed watching grown people, wearing clothes I could neither afford nor fit in doing da Butt with each other.  It. Was. Awesome.  I stood there with my jeans and my fat and for the first time felt no envy. Yes, these women apparently have way more time to work out than I do. Yes most of them are probably more financially secure. But I bet that there are few among them, these “chosen ones” of yesterday, who honestly and truly know who they are, headgear and all. 

"You see us as you want to see us - in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal."

*that's what she said

I struggled with this entry for a couple of weeks. At first I had planned to go balls out and torch the proverbial bridge since I have absolutely no plans of ever going to another reunion. But when the venom began to spew (that’s a great word, isn’t it?), I realized how hypocritical it was of me to judge these people. Just because I once perceived them as assholes doesn’t mean that they aren't still assholes? Maybe they are super sweet adults. Hey if my middle school tormentor can apologize to me later in life, then anything is possible. However, the one thing I will say is that they should consider this epiphany a gift. Because when I chose to work in my medium of choice, acerbic wit and sarcasm, I’m fucking Picasso. Put that in your Humpty Dance and smoke it.


Saturday, August 28


Remember in Sophia in The Color Purple? Well, if you ever read the book (or let's be honest, you just saw the movie - didn't you?) you either know her as the physically imposing, strong-willed wife of Harpo, or you just have some vague recollection about Oprah Winfrey something-or-other. Either way, you know who I'm talking about. Basically Sophia punches the Mayor, and becomes what can only be described as an indentured servant. In 1930s rural Georgia. Ahem. Ironically, Sophia is forced to work for the Mayor's wife, Miss Millie, and for some reason teaches her how to drive a stick. So, it kind of winds up being Driving Miss Millie. [Side note: while that sure is a snappy reference, rest assure that the best Driving Miss Daisy parody would have be Driving Miss Daisy Crazy. Don't look at me that way, a friend told me about it.]

So anyway, finally, after about a billion years of waiting on a bumbling old white lady, Sophia gets to go home on Christmas Day to see her family.Whoo fucking hoo. A whole day? For God's sake don't put yourself out Miss Millie. But I guess it's OK, because Millie does her a solid by giving Sophia a ride to see the family she was so cruelly torn from all those years ago. Yet before Sophia can even get her coat completely off, you hear the grinding of gears and cries of frustration from just outside the window. Yep, sure as shit, Miss Millie can't drive her dumb ass home and basically passive-aggressives her way into making Sophia do it. Sophia leaves crestfallen, her Christmas forgotten and her sadness ignored.

I think about this scene a lot. Particularly whenever I try to do anything. Ever. If I even think about going for a walk alone, I suddenly find myself with a three-year-old attached to my leg. Now, while you might be thinking "it's good to walk with a little extra weight," it's not so productive when that ankle weight is screaming "mommy, mommy!" There's also nothing relaxing at all about trying to spend some alone time with a chorus of "mommy, don't leave me!" in the background. I feel like I should make my walking destination DFACS.

But this weekend, after a particularly shitty few nights with a baby that can't quite put his finger on what's bothering him, I decided that come hell or high water I was going to relax with a bath. Ahhhhh a bath. Not for everyone I know, but definitely for me. Due to the suspicious soft spot under the tub of our old house, I never dared to bathe in it for fear of winding up in the basement. Which means it's been over a year since I had a bath, and no you aren't allowed to say "yeah I can tell, you stink," like Mark did. I've bathed since then, just not in an actual bathtub.

But in the new house there's just one catch if you want to spend QT in an actual tub. It's is Piper's bathroom. That means to use it, you have to treat it like a covert military operation. She can not know your intentions. She can not be privy to when you enter or leave the bathroom. You must keep all movement in said tub to a minimum. This includes splashing, intentional or otherwise. If she even suspects that you are in her bathroom without her, you will come face to face with your worse nightmare. A three-year-old trying to get into the tub with you while simultaneously critiquing your ageing body. I love Piper, but sometimes I'm just not in the mood to share my quiet time with Tinkerbell bubbles and an army of Littlest Petshop bobble-headed "pets." OK, the Tinkerbell bubbles are really nice.

I was so serious about my anticipated soak, I prepared a statement beforehand. It basically consisted of "don't ask, don't tell, oh and I'm taking my fucking time." I even did something I never do which was to take a shower first. That way, I could cherish this stolen time by focusing all my energy on relaxing and not have to bother with all of that pesky cleaning. Mark promised to keep Piper downstairs, but before I could even get into our actual bedroom, I heard "mommy, can I come with you?" I literally ran into the bathroom and locked the door, hoping that she wouldn't come up and try to get in. That only makes her angry. And you wouldn't like Piper when she's angry.

I didn't hear tiny feet trying to kick in the bathroom door, so I figured that I was safe. After a shower, I cautiously headed toward Piper's bathroom, only to come face-to-face with...Piper. I called down to Mark that Piper was in her room (cock blocking me from the bathtub), and he responded, "yeah, I know. She's getting a toy." What he couldn't see though, was that she was on the floor trying to wrangle herself back into her underwear, which is never a good sign. It brings up too many questions, mainly "why are you out of your underwear?" I promptly did my Mom sigh, which I have to say is fairly good after only three years. You know, the sigh that says "kid, you are killing me and so is your Dad, because how could he not know this was going to end up in a way that was going to frustrate the shit out of me."

Instead of inserting myself into the situation further, I turned around and went back into the bedroom. I could hear that we had a situation brewing, and it had something to do with poop. I laid my head down on the bed and mentally began to let go of my bath. I felt like Sophia at the dinner table, minus the messed-up eye. Her coat half on, half off, glancing at Miss Millie driving like a spaz, knowing that she was going to have to go and fix the situation one way or another. Sophia had Miss Millie and I have Piper. And Tanner. And Mark. I often like to say that it's kind of nice being so important, but not really. As I got up and headed into the bathroom that had held such promise moments before, all I knew this was going to have nothing to do with driving and everything to do with poop.


Thursday, August 12


I look forward to the day when I get to see a movie in an actual theater. I really miss it, but I also have to take into consideration that between tickets, treats and babysitters, I'm looking at about 80 American dollars to see one moving picture show (that's probably going to suck anyway). Instead, Mark and I have been Netflix devotees since 2003. I have to mention the date we joined Nexflix because Mark will get on his "I loved Netflix before anyone else did" soapbox. I shouldn't give him too much grief though because he definitely has the Netflix thing wired. Not only does he know the processing time of our local hub, but exactly when to mail something back in order to get a "long wait" release, pronto. That man can manipulate a queue like nobodys business. But I like Netflix because it means I can watch crap like The Bounty Hunter without judgement or shame. OK without judgement.

But once in a while there comes a film, so moving, so haunting that it deserves only to be seen in a theater. Scratch that, in a theatre. When I first heard about The Room, it was apparent that this thing was so bad it had garnered sort of a Rocky Horror-like cult status with midnight showings and everything. All I had to do was hear "one of the worst movies ever made" and I was in. I love bad movies. Not bad movies like The Bounty Hunter, but baaaaaaaaaaad movies like Showgirls, which PS I saw in the theater on opening weekend.

Frankly, it's a pretty bold statement to call a film "the worst ever made," because that's a direct challenge to classics like Plan 9 From Outer Space and Valley of the Dolls, so you'd better be ready to put your money where your mouth is. And they did. The Room is amazingly, wonderfully, exquisitely bad. The direction, I don't think there was any. The camera work, sloppy. The story, incomprehensible. The continuity, non-existent. And the acting, oh the acting. It made the Saved by the Bell cast look like master thespians. Let's put it this way, one of the main characters also doubled as the line producer.
Tommy Wisseau is the wonky-eyed triple threat that wrote, directed and starred in this masterpiece. Don't take my word for it, but I think that the story revolves around Wisseau's character, "Johnny." I really wish that people would never, ever name another character Johnny. It reminds me of 1940s film noir, and this movie is no film noir. It's more like film no bueno.

Anyway, Johnny has this slut girlfriend, Lisa, and despite the fact that everyone constantly refers to her beauty, she's more like a poor man's Britney Spears. Which is like saying she's a rich man's Tonya Harding. So even though Lisa appears to love Johnny she doesn't and wants to be with his friend, Mark (also the line producer). However, Johnny is a successful something-or-other and is about to get a promotion despite his Warrant-inspired hairdo and ill fitting suit (because he only wears one throughout the entire movie).

You know, I can't even bring myself to try and decipher the rest of the plot, because to be honest, I'm still confused by the delicate nuances of the script. Let's just say that there are subplots about drugs, cancer and domestic abuse but none of them are fleshed out further than one scene. You just kind of have to go with it.

Seeing The Room at an actual movie theater was like going to see Mystery Science Theatre 3000 live, but with more alcohol. We were surrounded by die-hard fans and it took me about 60 seconds to adjust to the yelling. I had to fight against the instinct to shush everyone. But once I settled in I realized that I was among like-minded friends. Finally, there were people to validate my feelings about dialog like, "I did not hit her, that's bullshit! Oh, hi Mark." To relish in my confusion over exactly what the deal was with that creepy kid Denny (or Danny depending on your interpretation of the accent) and his voyeurism. I'm not going to even address the tickle fight situation.
All in all it was the best $40 we've spent in a long time on a movie that we knew going in was going to be crappy. If only that had been true with The Bounty Hunter. By the way, we got my Dad to babysit.


A while back, a controversial video surfaced of a woman dragging her child through a Verizon store with the help of one of those backpack leashes. As I watched this disengaged mother pull her limp child, I was horrified that I wasn’t horrified. Instead, I thought to myself “I totally get that.” Apparently the tyke wasn’t listening and decided to pull the old “go limp” maneuver that I myself perfected in college whenever someone tried to throw me out of a bar.

My former self would have been outraged that a mother would do that. However, my current self has actually hidden from Piper to make her think that I’ve
left her behind. My former self thought that if I was in public and I knew your child’s name, you were doing something wrong. My current self would be able to retire if I had a dime for the number of times I’ve been in public and said “Piper, Piper, Piper, Piper, Piper, Piper, Piper, Piper.” It’s safe to say that my former self was an idiot.

Someone once told me that, aside from Brook Shields and Tom Cruise, n
o one really talks about the dark side of motherhood. And they’re right. Remember in The Empire Strikes Back when Luke is hanging onto that upside down Space Needle thingy? His hand’s just been cut off and he’s all kinds of sweaty and windblown and the only one there to offer help is Daddy Darth Vader? He extends his hand, and says “join me.” You can see the desperation on Luke’s face he ponders his choice between physical death and spiritual death. In the end, chooses to plummet into the darkness below.

You may be thinking, “wow, you sure have put a lot of thought into the
Empire Strikes Back.” I find that scene pretty poignant, not only because of Mark Hamill and his limitations as an actor (everything was downhill after he starred in Sarah T. Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic with Linda Blair), but because sometimes I truly believe that Piper is trying to take my spirit and to crush it. Those are the days when "there is no escape. Don't make me destroy you," sounds like great a parenting strategy to me.

I know that if I really wanted
to take some drastic steps, I could get this child under control. But like Luke, I choose instead to fall into the unknown hoping to come out on the other side. However, my unknown is actually going to my bedroom, locking the door, and reading celebrity gossip magazines. I don't know if that would have worked for Luke. It certainly would have put a different spin on the movie, but would have totally explained the gay-ness of Return of the Jedi.

In my scenario, reading gossip about Jennifer Aniston's potential love child, prevents me from embracing my inner Darth. I always try to remember that I am the adult, but there is just something about having a 3 year-old
scream “you aren’t my friend anymore!” at the top of her lungs that can drive you over the edge of your very own Space Needle thingy. Once after being told that “I was a bad mommy,” I actually gave Piper the finger. I threw my kid the Rockefeller. I figured that she doesn’t know what it means and lacks the dexterity to imitate it. It’s definitely better than the
time I muttered “fuck you” under my breath, and as she walked away I heard “you fuck you.” You may send my Mother of the Year certificate to me via email.

But at the end of the day, I love my kid more than anything. I just hope that by the time we get along I'm not half man, half machine. Although it would be cool to have James Earl Jones as my voice. Then everyone would do as I say.

Tuesday, April 27


I never thought that I'd have children - ever. But as it turns out I did. Now I find myself having the most inane conversations about subjects that are really of no interest to anyone other than myself. While I love my kids, which the fact that that the word 'kid' is plural freaks me out, sometimes I miss the little things that I use to not even have to consider:
  • I miss not having spit stains on all my clothes.
  • I miss not smelling like regurgitated breast milk.
  • I miss being able to leave the house in under an hour and not having to carry everything I own with me "just in case."
  • I really miss the portion of my brain that has decided to take maternity leave as well.
  • I wish that every conversation that I have with my three-year-old didn't remind me of an acid flash-back: "I did have my balloon float away with my robot kitchen, but he was going to see his mommy daddy and the fish that lives up there, so I did say bye to him, but then the little big kid was mad at me." I mean really, who can follow along with that story and not feel slightly fucked up?
  • I wish that I still didn't have to wear maternity pants.
  • I know that I should look on the bright side of this last one... I guess I'm too important to not be available at all times to everyone in the house. But what I wish most of all is that I could take a shit with the door closed.

Wednesday, March 31


It’s been awhile, but give me a break, I’m pregnant and have low to moderate brain functionality right now. While I want to write blog posts, the most I can muster is a sarcastic comment or two from my couch at home, making every evening a little MST3K-ish. So, I figured why not do an entry on the shit movie I just watched if for no other reason than to keep Blogger from deleting my account due to inactivity.

So began the cinematic tour-de-force that was 2012.

Yeah, yeah, yeah I know this came out like 6 months ago, but considering that I don’t get out much, I just saw it this past weekend. And all I can say is that I’m glad I didn’t pay $9 to have my eyeballs raped in an actual theater by this movie. If I were seven and reviewing this thing, I would have called it a piece of poo, but I’m not seven, so I’m calling it what it is, a piece of shit. This thing clearly cost a kabillion dollars to make and it sucked. It sucked worse than Day After Tomorrow and their stupid wolves or that thing with Tea Leoni and Morgan Freeman with the gigantic wave. Sadly, with all the CGI and implausibility, neither one of these “blockbusters” can touch the awesome-ness of the 1983 mushroom destruction that was The Day After. Plus it starred the Gutt, so it’s got that going for it.

Mostly after sitting through 2012 I just wanted to have a sit-down with John Cusack and Woody Harrelson. Really? Really, you two? What happened? Did you need some money or what? I know that Woody has pot to buy, so OK, I’ll give him that. But the man was just nominated for an Oscar so he can clearly act, but you wouldn’t have know it from watching this particular movie. And Cusack. Oh, Cusack. I’ve taken it very personal watching Lloyd Dobler (Lloyd, Lloyd, Lloyd all null and void) slowly kill his career. It started with Pushing Tin and slid into America’s Sweethearts and has sunk to 2012. He's dangerously close to entering Nicholas cage territory here. And, should it bother me so much his character a limo-driving writer that has the mad driving skills of a stunt man? Maybe I just put too much thought into the whole “suspension of disbelieve” thing.

The one thing about bad movies is that it always makes me think “someone wrote this down. It was revised – many times. And then someone was paid to punch it up.” However, thanks to “writers” like Roland Emmerich (who brought us both the Day After Tomorrow and Independence Day) and Jerome Armstrong, I have now cracked their disaster movie code. The equation is something like this (subject to minor changes):

Lovable but aloof loser (hero) + estranged wife + strained relationship with children from aforementioned estranged wife + catastrophic end of world scenario + crazy dude that no one will listen to except for our hero + way too many CGI effects + optional African American/female president + the optional sassy gay comic relief to provide comedy and levity a la Harvey Firestein in Independence Day. = 2012, Day After Tomorrow, Deep Impact, Independence Day, Armageddon, Volcano, Dante’s Peak, Twister and War of the Worlds.

I’m telling you, if this is the best that "professionals" have to offer, give me made for Sci-Fi movies like Earthquake 10.5, Category 6 or Atomic Twister. Sure, Mansquito and Supergator are incredibly outrageous and goofy, but they’re supposed to be. But at least my expectations are realistic, because they’re on Sci-Fi for God’s sake.